President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was the result of many details being ironed out.
On July 9, shortly before Trump nominated Kavanaugh to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Trump expressed appreciation for former Attorney General Edwin Meese. Many people believe Meese has had a major influence on Kavanaugh’s nomination and on many others on Trump’s list of possible candidates for conservative judges.
Frank Lee, chairman of the Bay Area Advisory Board of Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a conservative legal organization, gave an interview to The Epoch Times regarding how Trump’s list of Supreme Court candidates was established. Lee has worked with Meese for years, since Meese is the chairman of the National Advisory Board of PJI.
During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Trump released his list of 25 possible Supreme Court candidates. This was “unprecedented,” according to Lee.
“Actually, even after becoming U.S. president, I don’t think any president released such a list,” Lee said.
Lee also believes that Trump’s releasing the list was one of the decisive factors for his winning the election.
Kavanaugh’s candidacy for the Supreme Court was actually established prior to the 2016 presidential election.
Trump further clarified the reason for the nomination during his speech at the July 9 nomination event at the White House.
Trump said that President Ronald Reagan, who nominated Kennedy, “understood that the best defense of our liberty and a judicial branch immune from political prejudice were judges that apply the Constitution as written.”
“In keeping with President Reagan’s legacy, I do not ask about a nominee’s personal opinions. What matters is not a judge’s political views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require,” Trump added.
Meese served under Reagan as U.S. Attorney General. Lee believes that Meese was instrumental in making Kavanaugh the top candidate for the nomination.
Many people believe that Kennedy’s retirement will mark the end of an era. During this era, Kennedy has acted as a swing vote in many of the Roberts Court’s 5–4 decisions, including upholding the precedent of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that set the precedent for abortion; but Kennedy has been criticized for not directly applying the Constitution as it was written.
In the Roe v. Wade case, seven out of nine Supreme Court justices ruled to legalize abortion based on an unprecedented concept of trimesters of pregnancy, which many Americans believed was a concept invented to interpret the Constitution not as originally intended.
The American Constitution was written based on the Declaration of Independence, which upholds the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many Americans believe that the ruling of the Roe v. Wade case significantly deviated from the values of America’s founding fathers, since it did not protect unborn children’s right to life.
For many Americans who believe the Constitution should be applied as written without any free interpretations, Kennedy’s coming retirement seems to be an opportunity to overturn the case after a long wait of more than 40 years.
However, for this to happen quickly, or for Kennedy to retire in time while Republicans still hold the simple majority in the U.S. Senate before the 2018 midterm election, one question still needs to be answered: whom will Kennedy choose to continue his own legacy?
Kavanaugh, who worked for Kennedy between 1993 and 1994, has the kind of trust needed from Kennedy. According to Lee, Kavanaugh is Kennedy’s number-one choice.
The nomination may have also been a pleasant surprise to the people associated with the Bush administrations, because Kavanaugh served in the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency.
Trump has been skeptical of both presidents from the Bush family, since neither of them supported Trump during the 2016 election. However, the Bush camp immediately released a welcome message after learning of Trump’s announcement.